Environment

Sustaining Our Environment:

Minimizing Our Operational Footprint, Reducing Our Waste Production and Being Good Community Stewards

At American Family Insurance, we recognize our connection to the natural environment and are dedicated to minimizing our operational impact. We understand that our dreams are dependent on the responsible use of natural resources and are committed to ensuring future generations have an equal opportunity to experience the world in all its awe and wonder. To protect our dreams, we have acknowledged the very real impacts of climate change and its effect on our customers, company and communities today. It is our responsibility to address these impacts directly.

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LEED Certified Remodels and Construction

As American Family grows, we are mindful of our impact on the environment and strive to develop sustainably. Our company embraced the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification system for real estate construction, remodeling and demolition processes.


REMODEL PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

In 2017, American Family Insurance achieved its first LEED silver certification for the remodel of our Eden Prairie, Minnesota office. As part of this certification:

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We maintained the use of 99 percent of the existing building structure.

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We operate the building’s energy optimization strategy 20 percent more efficiently than the Minnesota state energy code.

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We generate two percent of the total energy used by the facility through a rooftop solar panel installation.

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We diverted more than 98 percent of demolition and construction waste from the landfill.

Making Changes to Reduce our Impact on the Environment

American Family sees energy management and conservation as keys to protecting tomorrow’s dreams. Conserving energy and utilizing renewable energy reaffirms our commitment to the environment while also reducing our operating costs, saving resources to better meet the needs for our customers.

Learn more about this work at American Family in our first-ever Corporate Responsibility Report.

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Utilizing Solar Energy

A combined 4,938 solar panels were installed across two locations in 2017 to reduce our building’s electrical usage.

Preserving Our Landscape

With 22 acres of restored and preserved natural landscapes and 10 more planning to be added, we have created a beautiful habitat for our area’s native species.


Saving Water

Changes to our water cooling systems in 2017 saves us 1.5 million gallons per year.

Additional Environmental Initiatives

The Spark Building

In 2018, American Family made significant progress on our newest facility — The Spark. The nine-story building on East Washington Avenue is part of American Family’s commitment to making our communities better, by providing entrepreneurs space to innovate, collaborate and expand their ideas. American Family will pursue LEED v4.0 certification for the building.

“Spark is not just a building, it’s a catalyst to develop new ideas and successful entrepreneurs as well as fuel socially impactful businesses.”

- Peter Gunder

Chief Business Development Officer

Zero Waste Future

Our Dream of a Zero waste Future American Family is committed to minimizing our impact on the environment by reducing the amount of waste we produce, while increasing the amount of waste recycled and composted. Achieving a 90 percent waste-diversion rate is the centerpiece of our Dream of a Zero-Waste Future.

To accomplish this, we focus on reducing, reusing and recycling various products to minimize the amount of landfill waste. Two of the largest initiatives are paper reduction and Organics recycling. American Family prints almost everything in-house and recycle organics at our headquarters and have invested in expansion of recycling stations and employee education.

Landscape Management

Set on a beautiful area of Madison, our National Headquarters are also home to native prairie, thanks to a pioneering program to return the land to its natural state. This area includes 22 acres of restored habitat, with 10 more acres planned that is home to a variety of native Wisconsin species.

Water Management

American Family has achieved a 20 percent reduction in water usage. Retrofitting a condenser water-cooling system allow us to use soft water in the cooling tower system at our National Headquarters.

This change saves four million gallons of water a year by reducing the mineral content in the water. Previously, American Family used hard water as part of the cooling process, at an average of 10 million gallons of water annually. We have since implemented this solution at several of our other regional offices, with similar success. Additionally, we tied our water-cooled ice machines, refrigerators and freezers into the existing chilled water loop used to cool the facility. This change saves around 1.5 million gallons of water annually.